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Communication Theory and Millennial Popular Culture

Essays and Applications

Edited By Kathleen Glenister Roberts

Theories help to troubleshoot gaps in our understanding, and to make sense of a world that is constantly changing. What this book tries to do, in part, is blur the lines between the differences between today’s college students – the millennial generation – and their professors, many of whom hail from the Boom Generation and Generation X.
In the following chapters, contributors build upon what both parties already know. Writing in a highly accessible yet compelling style, contributors explain communication theories by applying them to «artifacts» of popular culture. These «artifacts» include Lady Gaga, Pixar films, The Hunger Games, hip hop, Breaking Bad, and zombies, among others. Using this book, students will become familiar with key theories in communication while developing creative and critical thinking. By experiencing familiar popular culture artifacts through the lens of critical and interpretive theories, a new generation of communication professionals and scholars will hone their skills of observation and interpretation – pointing not just toward better communication production, but better social understanding.
Professors will especially enjoy the opportunities for discussion this book provides, both through the essays and the «dialogue boxes» where college students provide responses to authors’ ideas.
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7. Mockingjays and Silent Salutes—Introducing Semiotics through The Hunger Games



Mockingjays and Silent Salutes—Introducing Semiotics through The Hunger Games

Claudia Bucciferro

Close your eyes and consider these words: The Hunger Games. Let related images come to mind. Don’t think of the story behind the title, just the images. What do you see?

Pictures related to The Hunger Games have filled media outlets in recent years. The books and movies have been enormously popular, attracting millions of followers and leading to some controversies (Bartlett, 2012). Even if you are not particularly interested in the series, you are probably familiar with it. Revisit the images you thought about. Do you see a gold circle enclosing a bird? Or a girl wielding a bow and arrow? Perhaps a young woman with an outline of wings against a fiery background? Think: what do these pictures mean? This chapter will introduce you to a theoretical framework, often used to study and analyze images such these. Its name is semiotics.

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